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MPs recommend stamp duty concession to older 'down-sizers'


Published: 18 November 2014 | Author: Bernard Clarke

Older people looking to ‘downsize’ should not have to pay stamp duty on the purchase of a moderately-priced home, a group of MPs has recommended.

Members of the all-party Parliamentary group on housing and care for older people believe that encouraging older people to move into the right-sized accommodation for their needs would make more homes available for younger, growing families. The MPs are therefore recommending removal of the 1% stamp duty band, applied to homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000, for older home-owners looking to move.

The MPs’ report, The Affordability of Retirement Housing, argues that many older people occupy homes that are too large, too difficult to maintain and too expensive to run. Helping them to move to more suitable accommodation would help ease pressure on the entire housing market.

The report says that some eight million people aged over 60, in seven million homes, are interested in ‘down-sizing.’ If half did so, 3.5 million homes – two-thirds with three or more bedrooms – would become available. But the report identifies a shortage of homes built specifically for older people, with around 8,000 a year built today, compared to some 30,000 annually in the 1980s.

Among the MPs’ proposals are plans for a Help to Move package, operating along similar lines to Help to Buy, with tax incentives and comprehensive financial advice for older ‘down-sizers.’